A Therapeutic Waiting Room: Medical Students Run an Art Group for Vulnerable Populations

Lee-Anna Huisman, Kalen Leech-Porter, Justine Spencer, Melanie Van Soeren

ABSTRACT

Medical students at UBC’s Island Medical Program run an art group in the waiting room of the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s Access Health Clinic in downtown Victoria, B.C. This program aims to create a calm and inclusive environment by providing art materials, companionship and safe space for populations affected by chronic illness, homelessness, mental illness and addictions, all within a familiar space: the waiting room. It appears that this relaxing space contributes to increased well-being and provides a positive outlet for expression through writing, drawing, painting and knitting. For medical students, the program facilitates growth through interacting with people from a variety of marginalized populations.

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Huisman LA, Leech-Porter K, Spencer J, Soeren MV. A Therapeutic Waiting Room: Medical Students Run an Art Group for Vulnerable Populations. UBCMJ 2013 5(1):35-36.